In his first press conference following midterm elections, President Obama admitted the obvious: that he will have to change plans for addressing climate change and energy policy.
Democrats ran out of time and will for comprehensive climate change legislation. Now with the Republicans controlling the House, the Obama administration will have to rely primarily on regulation, if the U.S. is to make progress on cutting greenhouse gas emissions. During U.N. climate change negotitaions in Copenhagen last December, Obama gave his word that the U.S. would cut emissions 17% below 2005 levels by 2020.
"Cap-and-trade was just one way of skinning the cat; it was not the only way," Obama said. "I'm going to be looking for other means to address this problem."
Republican House Energy Leaders
Several Republicans in the House of Representatives will now play key roles in U.S. energy policy.
Representative Doc Hastings of Washington will lead the House Natural Resources Committee, which has jurisdiction over public lands. He is expected to push for expanded oil and gas drilling.
Fred Upton of Michigan is likely to lead the Energy and Commerce Committee. He is a big proponent of nuclear power.
Dave Camp, also from Michigan, will take over the Ways and Means Committee controlling taxes. This could turn out all right, as he has supported investment and incentives for renewable energy in the past, and Michigan is becoming a manufacturing center for wind power, solar and electric vehicles.
Read Reuters coverage of these key figures at the link below.